- Valene Maharaj
Pageant titleholder bio
caption=Valene Maharaj during Miss World
title= Miss Trinidad Tobago 2007
birthdate=|birth=birth date and age|1986|4|25
Valene Maharaj (born
April 25, 1986) was the Miss Trinidad & Tobago World 2007 Title Holder, and Miss World of the Caribbean for 2007. She is a Runway Fashion and Super Model, who has been active in the business since she was sixteen years old. Her modelling career started when she was 16 and won the Caribbean Model Search, which took her to Jamaica in 2003 for Jamaica's Fashion Week. Since then she's done advertising campaigns for Mickles, modelled in shows for local designers like Peter Eliasand Meiling, and did many photo shoots with Calvin Frenchwho is well a re-knowned caribbean photographer. Valene has stated that through these experiences it has opened her up to stage projection and has granted her invaluable experiences.
On March 28, 2006,
Valene Maharajtook the first runner-up spot at the Miss Trinidad and Tobago pageant. The position would require Maharaj to act as a stand-in for Miss T&T Universe Kenisha Thom or Miss T&T World Tineke De Freitas in the event that either one is unable to fulfill her pageant obligations. However Valene competed further on May 21st 2007 to qualify for the Miss Trinidad & Tobago Title when she succeeded over six other contestants, Priya Chanderbally, 23, Kiesha Marie Charles, 23, Katrina Geetooah, 20, Arveyann Thomas, 21, Ann Wight, 23, and Candice Worrell, 24. National Director & Franchise owner of the Miss World in Trinidad & Tobago Peter Elias gave a positive response to Maharaj's Success in the competition and said he looked forward to working with her. He also added that "We had a great batch of girls to choose from. It was very difficult choice to choose the seven finalists. The judges - Alyson Brown, Adrian Raymond, Ashvin Bally, Calvin French and myself - argued a lot and that was a good sign."
Valene grew up in a small village in the southern part of Trinidad & Tobago called St. Margarets in Claxton Bay. Originally from Gasparillo, Maharaj is the third of four children. "Growing up in a big family was a great experience for me. I always had family around me to guide and encourage me in whatever I wanted to do. Even though I come from a Christian background, my family was supportive of my decision to model. I also grew up in Sunday School and I love going to church" . Valene has expressed that she is a very spiritual and religious person coming from a family that has always remained very close knit and ecclesiastical. She has stated that family means everything to her and without their support and guidance, she would not have been where she is today. She also said that she loves her mother and father very dearly and hold them in the highest esteem. She revealed in an interview that her mother, Sumintra has been a source of strength for her. "We are very close and I would say that she has been the backbone in keeping our family together." she added.
Valene graduated from high school at the age of 18 years old and was immediately accepted to pursue her Associates Degree in Business Administration. Earlier this year, she was accepted at the American Inter-Continental University in Florida to study Fashion, Fine Arts and Marketing. Her plans were however deferred to facilitate her title reign.
Maharaj stated in an interview with a Trinidad Based Newspaper "
1" that she trains five days a week with Gerard Alfonso from 5a.m. to 6:30a.m. doing spining and cardio to tone up. Then, she does classes with Adrian Raymond where they talk about social issues and aspects that affect Trinidad and Tobago as well as the world. She also has projection and etiquette classes with Allyson Brown and a lot of photography with Calvin French. Maharaj has credited her success toward the Miss World ( Trinidad Based National board of Associated Directors ). She Expressed her deepest gratitude toward all her guidance directors like Ashvin Bally who does her hair, Allyson Brownwho verses Maharaj in etiquette and also her Gym Instructor. In a candid interview in The Caribbean BelleMagazine, National Director of Miss World Trinidad & Tobago, Peter Elias stated that Maharaj " has a sweet, innocent and endearing aura. She has bright light emanating from her which shows her enthusiasm, earnestness, ambition and love for this aspect of her life. She is strinkingly beautiful and very photogenic and takes direction easily." Peter Elias who is also a very successful Fashion Designer and Entrepreneur has produced countless Queens for Trinidad & Tobago including Former Miss Universe 1998 Wendy Fitzwilliam.
Qualities & Role Models
Valene Maharaj has stated that she is a huge fan of Bollywood Movies and has always admired
Aishwarya Rai's Work. She stated in an interview with Miss World Subsidury Website [http://www.Missosology.org] that " I admire Aishwarya as she was able to take her Miss World title and use it as a platform to pursue her film career. She always appears to be refined, regal and gracious in her aura and personality". Maharaj also stated that she admires Trinidad & Tobago's very first Miss World Giselle La Ronde Westwho has done Trinidad proud during her reign. She accredits her Ambassodorial duties at Miss World toward her. Apart from Giselle, Maharaj also looks to former Miss Universe Wendy Fitzwilliamfor inspiration. "When I think about 'Miss Trinidad and Tobago' I think of Wendy Fitzwilliam. Her name is the first that comes to mind because I think she embodies what a Miss T&T stands for. She's so eloquent, graceful and charming."I like the way she communicates and I think she's an excellent role model." She also claims to have immense respect for former Miss Trinidad & Tobago 1995 Michelle Khan[http://www.newsday.co.tt/features/0,67929.html] who has had a successful career in modeling and representing Trinidad & Tobago.
Valene Maharajhas declared that she wants to be an ambassador for Trinidad and Tobago. "I'm T&T's biggest fan and if I win, I know that I'll be the best person to market my country." My dreams of winning Miss World are just as important as my love for my country and I just want to make my country proud. Maharaj is all about positive thinking, positive attitude and spirit. Not the kind that emerges at the right place and at the right time, she is just naturally effervescent. Twenty-one year old Maharaj categorically fits the model profile. At an impressive 5"6, and petite 105 lbs, she possesses the ability to make heads turn. Her personal credo - "Always be positive in life" Although her social obligations keep her busy, Maharaj has revealed a deep fondness for just curling up home with a good book stating that, "I'm a big fan of local writers like Vidya Naipaul, Lovelace and Persad. I guess it's because, coming from a Caribbean background, I am able to relate to what they are saying."Maharaj stated "When the opportunity to enter the Miss T&T pageant came my way, I got excited and told myself 'I have to do this and even if I don't win, I'll at least have the satisfaction of knowing that I tried.' I'm acually pretty happy where I am right now. Valene will contest for the Miss World Title on December 1st 2007 In Sanya China.
Valene has always stated that she is a very open minded individual who respects people’s beliefs, choices and personalities.She carries with her a great degree of earnestness, which categorically differentiates her as a mature, level headed young woman.When asked about her opinion on respect to the public reaction of former Miss Universe Wendy Fitzwillam’s pregnancy she noted that “I think Wendy Fitzwilliam is a role model for a lot of people, but people need to bear in mind that she's also human. If she has reached a stage in her life where she wants to have children - it's her decision. People also need to remember that even though she's pregnant, that hasn't changed the Wendy Fitzwilliam we all know and love; the Wendy who won Miss Universe and the Wendy who is a brilliant career woman. Honestly, I think she's just as beautiful in her pregnancy and I think people should just respect her wishes."
Being constantly in the public eye and visioned as a role model to your country could sometimes take a toll on your personal life and general psyche.According to an interview in the Trinidad Newsday Paper dated 8th November 2007, Former Miss Trinidad & Tobago and Top Model of the World Michelle Khan stated that “ As a Beauty Queen you are deemed to be beautiful, glamorous and have everything going for you but your love life is always in shambles due to constant publicized relationships that are open to general public scrutiny – nothing is private” In a recent interview with Maharaj, adapted from The Youth Voices Magazine, Valene was asked the question “ If she had any one that she was involved with ?”.The answer was deemed very vague and bashful by Maharaj, who cherishes her privacy. However it has been reported that Maharaj has been seen frequently at various locations with a gentleman by the name of Jason Peru. Peru who is a Chef Lecturer / Professor at the Trinidad & Tobago Hospitality & Tourism Institute is coincidentally the first son of well Revered Cultural Business Entrepreneur and successful Music Entertainment Promoter
Errol S. Peru. Media House Personal has also said that they have seen the couple together on numerous occasions citing Jason Peru as Maharaj's boyfriend.
Maharaj has always possessed a deep level of tolerance for Social facets within her country and the world and manages to be quite versed and passionate about general situations that affect innocent people. Her social projection coach whose name is
Adrian Raymondhas guided Maharaj on current relations that affect everyone, and has always kept her abreast of the responsibilities that one must consider when making decisions holistically. As an ardent Utilitarian, Maharaj has stated that Aids Awareness is something that needs to be more conscious within the world, and proper education needs to be divulged more practically unto the upcoming generation and also to the present arena.
*http://www.hcltt.com/news/beautyqueens.html *http://news.bn.gs/article.php?story=20070521142205834 *http://www.voy.com/28132/110.html
* [http://www.rosengurtt.co.uk/events_parties/contestant_photos.aspx?event_id=12&part_id=429&showNumber=false Photos of Valene Maharaj in Miss World 2007]
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